The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

Author: Anne Fadiman
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1429931116
Release Date: 1998-09-30
Genre: Social Science

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction When three-month-old Lia Lee Arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which neither she nor her parents nor her doctors would ever recover. Lia's parents, Foua and Nao Kao, were part of a large Hmong community in Merced, refugees from the CIA-run "Quiet War" in Laos. The Hmong, traditionally a close-knit and fiercely people, have been less amenable to assimilation than most immigrants, adhering steadfastly to the rituals and beliefs of their ancestors. Lia's pediatricians, Neil Ernst and his wife, Peggy Philip, cleaved just as strongly to another tradition: that of Western medicine. When Lia Lee Entered the American medical system, diagnosed as an epileptic, her story became a tragic case history of cultural miscommunication. Parents and doctors both wanted the best for Lia, but their ideas about the causes of her illness and its treatment could hardly have been more different. The Hmong see illness aand healing as spiritual matters linked to virtually everything in the universe, while medical community marks a division between body and soul, and concerns itself almost exclusively with the former. Lia's doctors ascribed her seizures to the misfiring of her cerebral neurons; her parents called her illness, qaug dab peg--the spirit catches you and you fall down--and ascribed it to the wandering of her soul. The doctors prescribed anticonvulsants; her parents preferred animal sacrifices.

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

Author: Anne Fadiman
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9780374533403
Release Date: 2012-04-24
Genre: Family & Relationships

A study in the collision between Western medicine and the beliefs of a traditional culture focuses on a hospitalized child of Laotian immigrants whose belief that illness is a spiritual matter comes into conflict with doctors' methods.

At Large and at Small

Author: Anne Fadiman
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 9780141903699
Release Date: 2008-11-06
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Butterflies, ice-cream, writing at night, playing word games...in this witty, intimate and delicious book Anne Fadiman ruminates on her passions, both literary and everyday. From mourning the demise of letter-writing to revealing a monumental crush on Charles Lamb, from Balzac's coffee addiction to making ice-cream from Liquid Nitrogen, she draws us into a world of hedonistic pleasures and literary delights. This is the perfect book for life's ardent obsessives.

The Wine Lover s Daughter

Author: Anne Fadiman
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9780374711764
Release Date: 2017-11-07
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

In The Wine Lover’s Daughter, Anne Fadiman examines—with all her characteristic wit and feeling—her relationship with her father, Clifton Fadiman, a renowned literary critic, editor, and radio host whose greatest love was wine. An appreciation of wine—along with a plummy upper-crust accent, expensive suits, and an encyclopedic knowledge of Western literature—was an essential element of Clifton Fadiman’s escape from lower-middle-class Brooklyn to swanky Manhattan. But wine was not just a class-vaulting accessory; it was an object of ardent desire. The Wine Lover’s Daughter traces the arc of a man’s infatuation from the glass of cheap Graves he drank in Paris in 1927; through the Château Lafite-Rothschild 1904 he drank to celebrate his eightieth birthday, when he and the bottle were exactly the same age; to the wines that sustained him in his last years, when he was blind but still buoyed, as always, by hedonism. Wine is the spine of this touching memoir; the life and character of Fadiman’s father, along with her relationship with him and her own less ardent relationship with wine, are the flesh. The Wine Lover’s Daughter is a poignant exploration of love, ambition, class, family, and the pleasures of the palate by one of our finest essayists.

Mama Might Be Better Off Dead

Author: Laurie Kaye Abraham
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226019390
Release Date: 2012-03-28
Genre: Social Science

Mama Might Be Better Off Dead is an unsettling, profound look at the human face of health care. Both disturbing and illuminating, it immerses readers in the lives of four generations of a poor, African-American family beset with the devastating illnesses that are all too common in America's inner-cities. The story takes place in North Lawndale, a neighborhood that lies in the shadows of Chicago's Loop. Although surrounded by some of the city's finest medical facilities, North Lawndale is one of the sickest, most medically underserved communities in the country. Headed by Jackie Banes, who oversees the care of a diabetic grandmother, a husband on kidney dialysis, an ailing father, and three children, the Banes family contends with countless medical crises. From visits to emergency rooms and dialysis units, to trials with home care, to struggles for Medicaid eligibility, Abraham chronicles their access (or lack of access) to medical care. Told sympathetically but without sentimentality, their story reveals an inadequate health care system that is further undermined by the direct and indirect effects of poverty. When people are poor, they become sick easily. When people are sick, their families quickly become poorer. Embedded in the family narrative is a lucid analysis of the gaps, inconsistencies, and inequalities the poor face when they seek health care. This book reveals what health care policies crafted in Washington, D. C. or state capitals look like when they hit the street. It shows how Medicaid and Medicare work and don't work, the Catch-22s of hospital financing in the inner city, the racial politics of organ transplants, the failure of childhood immunization programs, the vexed issues of individual responsibility and institutional paternalism. One observer puts it this way: "Show me the poor woman who finds a way to get everything she's entitled to in the system, and I'll show you a woman who could run General Motors." Abraham deftly weaves these themes together to make a persuasive case for health care reform while unflinchingly presenting the complexities that will make true reform as difficult as it is necessary. Mama Might Be Better Off Dead is a book with the power to change the way health care is understood in America. For those seeking to learn what our current system of health care promises and what it delivers, it offers a place for the debate to begin.

The Latehomecomer

Author: Kao Kalia Yang
Publisher: Coffee House Press
ISBN: 9781566894791
Release Date: 2017-03-20
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

An NEA Big Read Selection “This is the best account of the Hmong experience I’ve ever read—powerful, heartbreaking, and unforgettable.”—Anne Fadiman, author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down “A narrative packed with the stuff of life.” —Entertainment Weekly Kao Kalia Yang is the author of The Song Poet and The Latehomecomer, which was a finalist for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award and the Asian American Literary Award, and received the 2009 Minnesota Book Award.

The Healthcare Professional s Guide to Clinical Cultural Competence

Author: Rani Srivastava
Publisher: Elsevier Health Sciences
ISBN: 9780779699605
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Medical

With a focus on client-centred care, this book provides an introduction to developing cultural competence in the health care setting. A unique presentation covering both theory and practice, the book begins with a strong foundational model for understanding culture. It then introduces general knowledge on culture which can be provided to a variety of settings, and ends with clinical applications illustrating how to apply knowledge and awareness to a variety of populations. With contributions from twelve leading experts, material is drawn from a wide range of health care settings and has strong practical coverage throughout. Unique approach: looks at populations the way health care workers encounter them, not by ethno-cultural/religious labels Multidisciplinary approach to writing reflects a variety of perspectives and direct front-line experience Discussion is broad and inclusive, integrating different perspectives, but also makes visible the different paradigms used to approach the topic Case studies and questions encourage critical thinking and dialogue

Hmong America

Author: Chia Youyee Vang
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252077593
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Social Science

An unprecedented inside view of the Hmong experience in America.

Tales of a Shaman s Apprentice

Author: Mark J. Plotkin
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101644690
Release Date: 1994-08-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

For thousands of years, healers have used plants to cure illness. Aspirin, the world's most widely used drug, is based on compounds originally extracted from the bark of a willow tree, and more than a quarter of medicines found on pharmacy shelves contain plant compounds. Now Western medicine, faced with health crises such as AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, and cancer, has begun to look to the healing plants used by indigenous peoples to develop powerful new medicines. Nowhere is the search more promising than in the Amazon, the world's largest tropical forest, home to a quarter of all botanical species on this planet—as well as hundreds of Indian tribes whose medicinal plants have never been studied by Western scientists. In Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice, ethnobotanist Mark J. Plotkin recounts his travels and studies with some of the most powerful Amazonian shamans, who taught him the plant lore their tribes have spent thousands of years gleaning from the rain forest. For more than a decade, Dr. Plotkin has raced against time to harvest and record new plants before the rain forests' fragile ecosystems succumb to overdevelopment—and before the Indians abandon their own culture and learning for the seductive appeal of Western material culture. Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice relates nine of the author's quests, taking the reader along on a wild odyssey as he participates in healing rituals; discovers the secret of curare, the lethal arrow poison that kills in minutes; tries the hallucinogenic snuff epena that enables the Indians to speak with their spirit world; and earns the respect and fellowship of the mysterious shamans as he proves that he shares both their endurance and their reverence for the rain forest. Mark Plotkin combines the Darwinian spirit of the great writer-explorers of the nineteenth century—curious, discursive, and rigorously scientific—with a very modern concern for the erosion of our environment and the vanishing culture of native peoples.

An Introduction to Hmong Culture

Author: Ya Po Cha
Publisher: McFarland
ISBN: 9780786459889
Release Date: 2010-09-15
Genre: History

Presenting a holistic perspective of the Hmong way of life, this book touches on a spectrum of the Hmong culture, including traditions, customs, values, religion, arts, politics and ceremonial rituals. The book features and explains certain Hmong words, phrases and proverbs in the Hmong Roman Popularized Alphabet and in phonetic English. Topics include an overview of Hmong history; the conventional relationships between Hmong parents and their children; the rites and traditions of Hmong wedding and funeral ceremonies; the celebration of Hmong New Year; and home restrictions and other superstit.

Bamboo Among the Oaks

Author: Mai Neng Moua
Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press
ISBN: 0873514378
Release Date: 2002
Genre: Literary Criticism

In this groundbreaking anthology, first- and second-generation Hmong Americans -- the first to write creatively in English -- share their perspectives on being Hmong in America. In stories, poetry, essays, and drama, these writers address the common challenges of immigrants adapting to a new homeland: preserving ethnic identity and traditions, assimilating to and battling with the dominant culture, negotiating generational conflicts exacerbated by the clash of cultures, and developing new identities in multiracial America. Many pieces examine Hmong history and culture and the authors' experiences as Americans. Others comment on issues significant to the community: the role of women in a traditionally patriarchal culture, the effects of violence and abuse, the stories of Hmong military action in Laos during the Vietnam War. These writers don't pretend to provide a single story of the Hmong; instead, a multitude of voices emerge, some wrapped up in the past, others looking toward the future, where the notion of 'Hmong American' continues to evolve.

Ex Libris

Author: Anne Fadiman
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0374527229
Release Date: 2000-11-25
Genre: Literary Collections

A collection of essays discusses the central and joyful importance of books and reading in the author's life.

Dancing Skeletons

Author: Katherine A. Dettwyler
Publisher: Waveland Press
ISBN: 9781478611585
Release Date: 2013-09-26
Genre: Social Science

One of the most widely used ethnographies published in the last twenty years, this Margaret Mead Award winner has been used as required reading at more than 600 colleges and universities. This personal account by a biocultural anthropologist illuminates not-soon-forgotten messages involving the sobering aspects of fieldwork among malnourished children in West Africa. With nutritional anthropology at its core, Dancing Skeletons presents informal, engaging, and oftentimes dramatic stories that relate the author’s experiences conducting research on infant feeding and health in Mali. Through fascinating vignettes and honest, vivid descriptions, Dettwyler explores such diverse topics as ethnocentrism, culture shock, population control, breastfeeding, child care, the meaning of disability and child death in different cultures, female circumcision, women’s roles in patrilineal societies, the dangers of fieldwork, and facing emotionally draining realities. Readers will laugh and cry as they meet the author’s friends and informants, follow her through a series of encounters with both peri-urban and rural Bambara culture, and struggle with her as she attempts to reconcile her very different roles as objective ethnographer, subjective friend, and mother in the field. The 20th Anniversary Edition includes a 13-page “Q&A with the Author” in which Dettwyler responds to typical questions she has received individually from students who have been assigned Dancing Skeletons as well as audience questions at lectures on various campuses. The new 23-page “Update on Mali, 2013” chapter is a factual update about economic and health conditions in Mali as well as a brief summary of the recent political unrest.

Ex Libris

Author: Anne Fadiman
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9781429929424
Release Date: 2011-04-01
Genre: Literary Criticism

Anne Fadiman is--by her own admission--the sort of person who learned about sex from her father's copy of Fanny Hill, whose husband buys her 19 pounds of dusty books for her birthday, and who once found herself poring over her roommate's 1974 Toyota Corolla manual because it was the only written material in the apartment that she had not read at least twice. This witty collection of essays recounts a lifelong love affair with books and language. For Fadiman, as for many passionate readers, the books she loves have become chapters in her own life story. Writing with remarkable grace, she revives the tradition of the well-crafted personal essay, moving easily from anecdotes about Coleridge and Orwell to tales of her own pathologically literary family. As someone who played at blocks with her father's 22-volume set of Trollope ("My Ancestral Castles") and who only really considered herself married when she and her husband had merged collections ("Marrying Libraries"), she is exquisitely well equipped to expand upon the art of inscriptions, the perverse pleasures of compulsive proof-reading, the allure of long words, and the satisfactions of reading out loud. There is even a foray into pure literary gluttony--Charles Lamb liked buttered muffin crumbs between the leaves, and Fadiman knows of more than one reader who literally consumes page corners. Perfectly balanced between humor and erudition, Ex Libris establishes Fadiman as one of our finest contemporary essayists.